Point-Oh is Peter Imbres’ blog is an ongoing assessment of the opportunities provided to brands by emerging media. In a nutshell, he is a musician turned PR guy, turned ad guy, turned back into a PR guy. He will try to keep any personal ramblings to his other blog.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this blog are Peter Imbres’ only and do not reflect those of his employers, past or present.
Peter’s Conversational Resume
Peter’s first job was an entrepreneurial venture selling People Snacks, essentially frozen pops made out of milk and orange juice, to residents of Fairfield County in Connecticut. He was seven years old and the business eventually failed due to the fact that the pops made most people violently ill. Luckily, his lifestyle was maintained by supplemental income from delivering the Greenwich Time, despite a hazardous stretch of his delivery route that was patrolled by violent poodles. Although he only made $7 a week, he was quickly corrupted by being part of the mainstream media establishment.
In high school Peter expanded his horizons to more lucrative businesses, which were generally family-owned insurance or real estate offices. He bought a Honda Accord. Armed with vehicular transportation, Peter soon developed an obsessive interest in Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, whom he managed to see perform 73 times between 1990 and 1996. Peter’s passion for music, traveling and Taco Bell was supported with a surprisingly successful, but not altogether legal, t-shirt business, which kept him in the comfort of shared Days Inn hotel rooms and more Nachos Bell Grandes than any moderate amount of activity could ever work off.
Upon enrolling in college, Peter made yet another career change to pursue his passion for pizza delivery and start a noodly jam band of his own. Being assigned with the booking and promotion of the band, Peter learned the basics of PR, including dealing with media and being turned down repeatedly on the phone. A seed was planted.
Following light prodding by his girlfriend to get a “big boy job,” Peter moved to New York City in 1996. With four years of experience dealing with small regional newspapers and entertainment tabloids, he made the next logical step to working for an international PR agency, Weber Shandwick, on Microsoft’s interactive media team during the company’s highly sensitive DOJ trials. His morning competitive analysis reports went to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and countless other people who would’ve intimidated him if he had a better understanding of who they were. The transition was a little rocky but, lo and behold, a flack was born.
Immediately following his tenure at Weber Shandwick, Peter found himself smack dab in the middle of the candyland that was the dot-com boom and proceeded to play agency hopscotch while the demand significantly outweighed the practitioners. This included brief but educational stays at PR21 (now Zeno), LaForce & Stevens and some project work with Middleberg and Associates (“project work” generally being home-based and pants-optional).
After an incident where a now defunct dot-com client and his boss chased a reporter from the then prestigious Industry Standard into an elevator and refused to let him leave the event, Peter decided to make a gracefully departure from the world of PR. The dot-com boom was coming to a close and, without the lure of free drinks and branded stress relieving foam balls, Peter no longer wished to be around people that used hands-free headsets to talk to their mothers. This paved the way to a very relaxing year of freelance writing, ranging from trade journalism to penning letters for tech CEOs to their daughters at camp.
After too many months of pantless mornings and lonely lunches in Washington Square Park, Peter joined up with Competitrack to lead their one-man analytical division, learning more about telecom advertising, inter-agency creative politics and how much 30 seconds during the Miss America pageant costs than anyone should ever have to. It was an arduous but enlightening five years.
Writing about the implosion of the traditional advertising model for five years paved the way for Peter to join FanPimp (now, thankfully, Affinitive), where he learned that not all marketers need to be ashamed of themselves and marketing can, in some cases, actually not waste people’s time. With ample guidance from his scruffy mentors at Affinitive, he learned the joys of Word-of-Mouth marketing, which he still insists on hyphenating.
Once he finally figured out the difference between American RPGs and Japanese RPGs, Peter decided to take the plunge and jump back into the world of PR with Hill & Knowlton, hoping to work with the large budgets that might fund some of his more hare-brained interactive concepts and help rebuild his collection of stress relieving brand foam balls in a Web 2.0 world. This was largely the case, except with more canceled flights, Blackberry outages and “SarbOx” references than he originally anticipated.
Peter currently enjoys his work as an independent digital marketing consultant, except when he gets too many requests for branded Facebook pages. He now lives in Boulder, CO, and snowboards often and badly.
Peter has a real resume too, which he’d be happy to send to you if you ask nicely through the contact form.